Jan
11

Highlights and Lowlights of Muffin’s First Christmas Part II

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When last we left our weary Christmas travelers, they were probably en route somewhere between New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Anyway, I know you’ve been in suspense, so let’s wrap up the rest of our Tales of the Muffin’s First Christmas. Here’s what transpired the week following Christmas:

  • We have lots of December birthdays, so we celebrated big days for my mom, my sister, and my nephew. Charlie had her first taste of ice cream — yum!
  • Got a totally homemade and totally FA-BU-LOUS ravioli dinner at my Aunt Angie’s (my grandmother’s oldest sister). She may be 93 years old and about four-foot-eight, but man, can she cook! And she’s sharp as a tack!
  • On a sad note, the doctor for whom my mother worked for 23 years died of a massive heart attack. He was 59 years old and they had just had a big 60th birthday party for him. Very sad.
  • We made our “Girls’ Trip” into the city for a nice dinner and a Broadway show. This crew now includes my mom, my two sisters, my aunt, and my two nieces. (Charlie will join us when she’s old enough– this was the only time I was away from her during the trip!) We try and do this each time I’m home, and I always look forward to it. We ate dinner here which was, frankly, a disappointment. It wasn’t bad, but having watched Lidia Bastianich on television, I was really looking forward to it, and it was just not the treat I was hoping for.
  • We parked by the theater and walked quite a long way to the restaurant, which led to a new form of measurement: now when we walk some place, we ask, “Is that city blocks or Kristen blocks?” Kristen is my sister who is used to city walking and she walks with a purpose, and neither weather, distance, nor her Manola Blahniks will get in her way! My 9-year-old niece, who is not so practiced in the whole power-walking thing, had the totally wrong shoes on, and, even though we warned her, even at her young age she chose to sacrifice comfort for style! We saw White Christmas, which was quite enjoyable. Not quite sure it was worth the $150 ticket price, but you can’t really put a price tag on family time and tradition, so I won’t complain.
  • My 16-year-old niece texted through most of the show, but at least she kept her phone under a coat so as to be as inconspicuous as possible. Yes, I know – still not cool. Spent New Year’s Eve with my in-laws. We played Uno Attacks and watched “The Best of Password,” one of the DVDs Greg had gotten for his mother for Christmas. Later, we watched Ryan Seacrest and Dick Clark. WHY, OH WHY does he insist on still appearing on this and breaking our hearts!?!? (I mean Dick Clark, although I suppose it could apply to either). We drank a glass of champagne when the ball dropped. Since the Muffin was, yes, STILL on Pacific Standard Time, she was able to ring in the New Year with us.
  • We celebrated Greg’s early January birthday, too!
  • We had an early morning plane ride back to L.A., and both the pick-up and drop-off required two cars to fit everything — baby, dog, stroller, car seat, dog crate, suitcases, etc. We always leave from my in-laws’, and I was just thankful that Greg’s mom did not insist on taking a picture of all of us right before we left. EVERY trip, around 5:00 am, just as we’re ready to leave for the airport, she remembers she didn’t take any pictures, so she gets her camera and insists on a parting photo. She must have at least a dozen pictures of Greg and me in all of our traveling glory — standing by her couch next to a pile of luggage, with us in our sweats, and me with no make-up an hair in a pony tail. Fantastic. Anyway, we made it to the airport fine, and Muffin slept the first hour and the last hour of the flight but in between was a bit whiny. She cried some, though it wasn’t too bad, and definitely could have been worse,

All in all, it was a nice holiday trip and we got in most of what we planned and saw lots of friends and family. We arrived back to L.A. and a beautiful, sunny day, and the next day were forced to resume life as usual. Usually after a long trip back East, by time we get back, I’m ready. But this time, not so much. I’m homesick, and there was lots of talk of moving back, so we’ll see what the new year brings!

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